Deputy's bold move stopped wrong-way freeway driver on Highway 249

HOUSTON, Texas -- There's new information about jaw-dropping exclusive video of a driver completely oblivious to the fact that he was going the wrong way.

Transtar cameras captured the moment a deputy constable stepped out of his car and possibly prevented a tragedy.

That wrong-way driver drove at least six miles northbound in the southbound lanes of 249 before a deputy was able to stop him early Sunday morning.

Between the time it happened early Sunday morning and Monday afternoon, that driver pleaded guilty to Driving While intoxicated.

"There's no doubt in my mind that if you were in the 249 Beltway 8 area, one of our deputies probably saved your life," says Precinct Four Constable Mark Herman.

The man was spotted around 2:30 a.m. driving northbound in the southbound lanes in the 16000 block of the Tomball Parkway, that's near the Beltway.

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"The deputy was keen enough and intelligent enough to use his emergency equipment to get up far ahead enough of the wrong way vehicle to get his vehicle positioned and deploy spike strips," says Herman.

The deputy pulls over on the feeder road about six miles away, gets out of his patrol unit, stands on the highway blinks his flashlight at the driver.

Constable Mark Herman says he stopped just a few feet away from the spike strips.

"This individual was given a standard field sobriety test on the side of the road, which he flunked miserably. He was taken into custody, booked in jail for his second DWI."

Juan Escamilla, 30, has already pled guilty, and will spend the next 120 days in jail.

Constable Herman says wrong way drivers are far too common on Houston area streets. Just a few weeks ago, a man driving the wrong way on the North Freeway near Hardy Toll Road killed a couple as they left a birthday celebration.

"There's really no right or wrong way in getting this done because the variables are always different," he says.

"Had this individual been going 100 miles an hour, it would have been real hard for us to get in front of him and get everything done that we got done."

Constable Herman says if you find yourself facing a wrong-way driver, there's a short list of things to do: get out of the way, pull over in a safe place, and call 911.

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